The Hunchback of Notre Dame II
|The Hunchback of Notre Dame II|
|Directed by||Bradley Raymond|
|Based on||The Hunchback of Notre Dame
by Victor Hugo
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment|
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The Hunchback of Notre Dame II is a 2002 American animated romantic musical comedy-drama film and direct-to-video sequel to the 1996 Disney animated film The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It was produced by Walt Disney Animation Japan and Walt Disney Television Animation.
Unlike many Disney film sequels, almost the entire key cast of the first film returns, aside from Tony Jay, Mary Wickes, and David Ogden Stiers. Tony Jay had voiced Judge Claude Frollo in the original film. His character had died at the end of the first film, so there was no call for him to reprise the role. Mary Wickes had voiced Laverne the gargoyle in the original film, but died during the release of the first film. Laverne is voiced by Jane Withers in the sequel. David Ogden Stiers had voiced the Archdeacon in the original film. The redesigned character is instead voiced by Jim Cummings in the sequel.
The film is set in 1488, six years after the events of the original film and the death of Judge Claude Frollo. Captain Phoebus serves as Paris' Captain of the Guard under the new Minister of Justice. Phoebus and Esmeralda have married and become the parents of a six-year-old son named Zephyr. Quasimodo is now an accepted part of Parisian society; though he still lives in Notre Dame de Paris with his gargoyle friends Victor, Hugo, and Laverne. Quasimodo still serves as the cathedral's bell-ringer.
A circus troupe led by Sarousch enters town as part of "Le Jour d'Amour", a day dedicated to the celebration of strong and pure romantic love (in a fashion similar to Valentine's Day). Sarousch is secretly a master criminal who plans to steal Notre Dame's most beloved bell, La Fidèle ("the faithful one"; a take on the real-life Notre Dame's biggest bell, the Emmanuel), the inside of which is decorated with beige-cold and enormous jewels. He sends Madellaine, his aspiring assistant, to discover the whereabouts of La Fidèle.
Madellaine encounters Quasimodo without seeing his face, and the two of them initially get along quite well. Once Madellaine actually sees his face, she is shocked at his deformed appearance and runs away from him. The gargoyles convince Quasimodo to go to the circus to see her again. A circus performance is depicted. Sarousch captures the audience's attention by making an elephant disappear, while his associates steal from the audience. Sarousch pressures Madellaine to follow Quasimodo and obtain the information the criminal needs for his plans. When Madellaine disagrees with this mission, Sarousch reminds her or her past and of the loyalty she owes him. When 6-years-old, Madellaine was a thief who was caught trying to steal coins from Sarousch. He could have turned her over to the authorities and Frollo. Instead Sarousch decided to take the girl under his wing and to train her.
Madellaine reluctantly takes the mission to win Quasimodo's trust. After observing Quasimodo fondly playing with Zephyr and letting the boy sleep in his arms, Madellaine realizes that the scary-looking man is actually kind and gentle. She ceases to be frightened by his appearance. Quasimodo takes her sight-seeing around Paris. A rain forces them to end the date and return to Notre Dame. Quasimodo takes the opportunity to offer Madellaine a gift, a figurine in her own image. He created the artwork himself. A sincerely touched Madellaine kisses him on the forehead and leaves. Quasimodo soon realizes that he is in love with her.
Meanwhile, Phoebus is investigating reports about robberies in his city. He suspects that the circus is responsible for the crime spree and confides to his family and friends. Esmeralda expresses her belief that Phoebus is motivated by his own prejudice. Elsewhere, Sarousch instructs Madellaine to keep Quasimodo preoccupied while the circus steals La Fidèle. She has come to genuinely care for Quasimodo and protests. Sarousch threatens to have Quasimodo killed if she refuses. Phoebus eventually questions Sarousch about the robberies, and finds a stolen jewel in his possession. To avoid being arrested, Sarousch claims that Madellaine is a lifelong thief and that he is covering for her crimes. Phoebus seems to believe him.
Later, while Quasimodo is out with Madellaine, Sarousch and two of his subordinates sneak into the cathedral. Sarousch causes La Fidèle to vanish. The gargoyles try to stop the thieves, but end up trapped under another bell. Laverne still sounds the bell and alerts everyone that something is off at the Cathedral. Hearing the sound, Quasimodo and Madellaine rush back. When the Archdeacon informs everyone that La Fidèle has been stolen, Clopin claims that if they do not find the bell, the festival will be ruined. Phoebus suddenly realizes that Sarousch was behind the whole thing and played him for a fool. He sends the soldiers all over Paris to find Sarousch. Quasimodo realizes that his beloved Madellaine has deceived him (despite her pleas that she did not intend to) and angrily breaks off their relationship. He retreats deeper in the Cathedral, feeling heartbroken and betrayed. Phoebus has his guards arrest Madellaine for her involvement in the theft.
The gargoyles soon inform Quasimodo that Zephyr has left to pursue Sarousch. He passes the information to the boy's parents, who now have personal reasons to locate the master criminal. Madellaine, now a prisoner of Phoebus, informs them that Sarousch has taken the missing bell to the Catacombs of Paris and tries to explain the secrets behind her former master's tricks and illusions. Phoebus decides to search around the catacombs, and to bring Madellaine with him.
In the Catacombs, the search party encounter Djali, who leads them to Sarousch and Zephyr. Sarousch has taken the boy hostage and blackmails Phoebus into opening a gate for him. Madellaine uses her high-wire skills to rescue Zephyr. With no leverage against his pursuers, Sarousch is arrested by the guards. His group of criminals are also arrested. The missing bell is recovered.
The festival can finally take place. Hugo finally wins the heart of his longtime crush, Esmeralda's pet goat Djali. A number of romantic couples, including Phoebus and Esmeralda, proclaim their love for each other while Quasimodo rings the restored La Fidèle. The bell falls silent when a released Madellaine joins Quasimodo in the bell tower. The two of them admit their own love for each other and share their first romantic kiss. As the film ends, Zephyr takes over the ringing of La Fidèle.
- Tom Hulce as Quasimodo
- Jennifer Love Hewitt as Madellaine
- Demi Moore as Esmeralda
- Kevin Kline as Captain Phoebus
- Haley Joel Osment as Zephyr
- Paul Kandel as Clopin
- Charles Kimbrough as Victor
- Jason Alexander as Hugo
- Jane Withers as Laverne
- Michael McKean as Sarousch
- Jim Cummings as the Archdeacon
- April Winchell as Lady DeBurne
- Joe Lala as Guard 1
As announced on August 18, 2000, the film was originally going to be released on VHS and DVD on August 28, 2001. However, the release date was moved to March 19, 2002 to coincide with the VHS/DVD release of the original film.
Reception and criticism
The film received a score of 30% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes based on 10 reviews and an average rating of 3.6/10. Reviewers criticized the film for the poor quality of the animation in comparison to that of the original. The lighter tone, the original songs, the absence of religious themes from the original, the incomplete story, the new characters being bland and annoying, and Sarousch being a far weaker villain than Judge Claude Frollo were also popular criticisms among critics and audiences.
DVDactive said it was an "unusually chintzy production", noting "the characters are slightly off-model, their movements are stilted, optical zooms are used in place of animated camera moves, animation cycles are over-used, and painted highlights float around between frames". It compared it to the company's television shows, adding it looks "cheap", "old", and "awful". It concluded by saying "it is mercifully short – under an hour without credits." Hi-Def Digest said "There's really no point in wasting your time watching this subpar sequel of an already ho-hum movie", rating it 1.5 stars. PopMatters notes "The Hunchback of Notre Dame II both addresses and cheapens the previous movie’s notes of melancholy, as it sets about finding Quasimodo a romantic partner". DVD Talk says "the story...somehow stretches what might have once been a 12-minute segment of the Smurfs to over an hour", and concludes that "the whole thing has the awful feel of a cash grab".
- "Le Jour D'Amour" - written by Randy Petersen and Kevin Quinn; performed by Jason Alexander, Tom Hulce, Paul Kandel, Charles Kimbrough & Jane Withers
- "An Ordinary Miracle" - written by Walter Edgar Kennon; performed by Tom Hulce
- "I'd Stick With You" - written by Walter Edgar Kennon; performed by Tom Hulce & Haley Joel Osment
- "Fa-la-la-la Fallen In Love" - written by Walter Edgar Kennon; performed by Jason Alexander, Charles Kimbrough & Mary Jay Clough
- "I'm Gonna Love You (Madellaine's Love Song)" - written by Jennifer Love Hewitt and Chris Canute; performed by Jennifer Love Hewitt
- http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/hunchback_of_notre_dame_ii/ The Hunchback of Notre Dame II Movie Reviews, Pictures
- Malcolm Campbell and Tom Woodward (16 March 2013). "Review: Hunchback of Notre Dame I and II, The (US - BD) - DVDActive". dvdactive.com.
- "The Hunchback of Notre Dame / The Hunchback of Notre Dame II". highdefdigest.com.
- "'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' and 'Mulan' Are from Disney's Artistically Vital Years". PopMatters.
- "The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Two-Movie Collection (Blu-ray)". DVD Talk.
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